The Shimansky story began in 1991, when founder and CEO, Yair Shimansky, arrived in South Africa after spending two years in Japan studying the art of diamond cutting and polishing. Shimansky started designing and crafting his own jewelry, that he sold at a beachfront flea market for a year before opening a small outlet. A full Shimansky jewelry store followed two years later, together with an in-house jewelry manufacturing production factory.
During a business trip to the US in the early 1990s, Shimansky discovered platinum, the most precious of all metals. South Africa is home to 80% of the world’s platinum and it was an instant match, which went on to make Shimansky the country’s “Platinum Pioneer”. Today, Shimansky is one of the world’s top platinum specialists.
In the early days Shimansky bought diamonds from diamond dealers, but soon became dissatisfied with the quality of the diamonds and their grading. And so, Shimansky entered the world of diamond cutting and polishing. Unique among jewelers, Shimansky has a license to buy rough diamonds and other precious metals direct from South African mines, allowing for a fully integrated eco-system with all fine jewelry being created under full supervision and quality assurance.
Regular trips are therefore made to South African mines, where Shimansky has the run of the mine and the selection process can take up to three days. With specialized equipment, laser mapping, 3D scanning and optical tools, combined with skill, expertise and the human eye (the most critical tool of all), only the finest rough diamonds are selected. The opportunity to be among the first to hand-select rough diamonds allows Shimansky to choose only the best diamonds, plus some rare and unique diamonds for investment purposes.
Shimansky was among the first to introduce Tanzanite to a fine jewelry market. Tanzanite is an African beauty, mined only in one known place in the world: a 4km strip of land on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Shimansky sources Tanzanite directly from the Maasai tribe, where they hold the rights to the best quality Tanzanite found in Block D.Sold under the Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite brand, every Shimansky Tanzanite stone over one carat is certified according to the Tanzanite international Standard.
Shimansky is known for unique and iconic designs and attention to detail. The brand’s designs have often been imitated but never duplicated.
More than two decades later the Shimansky story continues. Fulfilling a lifelong dream to establish a showroom in New York, Yair Shimansky relocated to the City with his family in 2017, where around 50% of the world’s diamond jewelry is sold. Shimansky NYC opened its doors in January 2019.
Meet the man behind the brand by visiting us at 580 5th Avenue, Suite 3110, New York.
Our vision is to enlighten the world and leave it a better place than when we found it. Every Shimansky jewelry creation is making a difference, by giving back to Africa and her people.
Life is imperfect, but it is filled with perfect moments. Shimansky creates beautifully designed and crafted jewelry that helps to celebrate life’s special moments and occasions - and makes you feel valued, appreciated and part of a much larger cause.
We realise the gravity of helping our customers find a piece of jewelry that perfectly captures the essence of their moment, reflects their love and personality, and suits their occasion. It is a honor to be a part of this emotionally rewarding journey and take pride in guiding you to find the perfect piece of jewelry for your unforgettable moment.
A jewelry creation lives forever, making it a perfect gift to reflect meaning and emotion. There is more to jewelry than a beautiful design, and Shimansky believes that it is the way it makes you feel that gives it its true value.
Shimansky diamonds are graded by international, independent diamond laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). Each diamond comes with a certificate of authenticity, and all Shimansky diamonds and Tanzanite are ethically sourced.
All diamonds are graded and adhere to the international diamond grading standard. Most diamonds over 30 points, and all diamonds over 50 points, are accompanied by a diamond certificate. Diamonds equal to, or larger than, 50 points in weight are laser-inscribed with a unique diamond identification number on its girdle, in letters no larger than a few micron.
Each Shimansky Certificate of Authenticity certifies that your purchase contains natural diamonds, gemstones, platinum and/or gold that has been mined and acquired via sources that are conflict free, not funding civil war, and in accordance with international laws and the Kimberley Process.
Shimansky diamonds, gemstones, platinum and/or gold can be traced to their place of origin by the in-house team and the diamonds and gemstones are owned, cut and polished in Shimansky factories, allowing us to track these all the way from mine to retail. We adhere to safe working conditions, fair and appropriate wages and ethical human rights throughout this process.
We also certify that it complies with environmentally and socially sound practices, supporting communities reliant on diamond-sourced income in Africa. We undertake to strengthen and protect local ecosystems, ensuring that people in the sector have access to opportunities, information, tools that they need to work with dignity within flourishing, self-sustaining communities, including access to clean water, sanitation and education for children.
The world’s first large-scale diamond mine was established in South Africa in the 1870s. South Africa is blessed as one of the world’s largest sources of diamonds, but also of precious metals like gold and platinum. Combined with people’s natural creativity, passion and innovation, the country is a constant source of unique jewelry creation, leveraging these natural resources.
No two diamonds are alike; just like the people that wear them. Every Shimansky creation needs to be experienced in real life to be appreciated for its true value. Our dedicated team members in the stores will guide and educate you through the journey of selection, so that you can make a fully informed decision about a truly ethical piece, that also speaks to your heart’s desire.
As a Shimansky client we are also delighted to assist you in keeping your jewelry looking its best. Cleaning your jewelry can make you a bit nervous, so we invite you to bring your special pieces to us whenever you are near a store, for complimentary refreshing. Once every six months is regarded as ideal for the best maintenance of your jewelry.
At the heart of every Shimansky jewelry creation, is an African natural treasure, combined with the pursuit of perfection, passion, innovation, vision and an understanding of our customers and their special moments.
From the mine to your finger, every step of the creation process is completed in-house, to ensure the very best hand-crafted, artisanal standards are upheld. Our start-to-finish approach is unique and drives us to deliver excellence every time.
Nestled between the mountain and the sea, Cape Town is known for its extraordinary natural beauty. From the serenity of the wine farms, to the splendor of the white, sandy beaches, the Cape Town spirit is embodied in all we do. South Africa, with its rich heritage and cultural diversity, is home to some of the most beautiful diamonds in the world, and is a treasure trove of gold, platinum and precious stones.
It all comes together at the V&A Waterfront, original home of the Shimansky workshops, showroom and Cape Town Diamond Museum. Located in the center of Cape Town’s main attractions, with the magnificent Table Mountain as a backdrop, there is no shortage of inspiration around us.
The Shimansky My Girl diamond cut was the first internationally patented diamond cut to originate from South Africa. This truly South African design is one that can only be achieved by using the very rarest of diamonds, and up to half the rough stone is sacrificed to create this unique cut.
The Shimansky Millennium diamond ring is the most sought-after engagement ring in South Africa. Admired for its elegance and unique design, it has become an icon in the South African jewelry world.
The never-ending pursuit of perfection led to the creation of Shimansky’s Brilliant 10 diamond, evaluated as the most brilliant cut diamond in the world.
There are more than ten Shimansky jewelry design patents and more than five international Shimansky diamond-cut patents. For our customers this means that all of our signature collections are exclusively available from Shimansky and are as unique as you are wearing them.
With the most advanced 3D CAD design software, 3D printers and laser-welding technology, we have the ability to design and visualize a jewelry creation long before it goes to manufacturing. Once a design is ready to be brought to life, the perfect diamond is selected by a Shimansky expert, and is then cut to precision, thanks to years of experience, and state-of-the-art equipment.
A super-fine natural diamond powder is used to polish Shimansky diamonds – along with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil – on a diamond wheel, each stone is polished to reveal its maximum beauty. Three carats of diamond powder is used to polish one of one-carat diamonds.